Immanuel God With Us

Immanuel, Emmanuel, How to know that God is With Us.

Daily Spirit & Word: 814: The Meaning of Immanuel.

Good morning my friends, as I was just about to post my message today when I heard the tragic news about that terrible plane crash. It was carrying a Brazilian football team. (Link BBC NEWS)

I’m praying now for all those who’ve been affected by this disaster.

Immanuel:

It’s a word we hear every Christmas, but like a lot of religious words, we’ve lost its meaning somehow along the way. Or if we do know what it means, the impact of that meaning is not hitting home. Because of all the hustle and bustle and the haste to buy stuff, far too many Christians aren’t looking forward to Christmas, but we can re-capture the MAGICAL feelings we had as children, all the excitement, joy and wonder of Christmas. It happens as we experience IMMANUEL for ourselves.

What does Immanuel mean?

Immanuel means: “God with us”.

Let’s unpack IMMANUEL a bit…

Matthew 1:23 (NIV)  “The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”—which means, “God with us.”

This is a quote from Isaiah the great Prophet of the LORD. Isaiah 7:14.

Immanuel means “God with us”…

When Jesus was born, he was a baby human being, he became one of us, but He was also still God, just wrapped in flesh.

Some people call this taking on human flesh, the INCARNATION:

Now when you dwell upon that fact, The CREATOR of the whole Universe and time itself, came to Earth. Out of all the billions of little planets, he chose EARTH to come and reveal Himself to His Creation. Awesome!

Of course He came for a reason, Jesus was coming on a rescue mission.

It’s a bit like the Government sending in the SAS to set free the prisoners held hostage by the Iranian Terrorists in the Iranian Embassy in London in the 1980’s. LINK in that BBC News coverage you’ll see them storming the burning building.

https://youtu.be/_p4DmuGyehc

Jesus, of course, didn’t come with guns blazing, smoke going off and bombs sounding, nor did He arrive with an army to win His battle, instead Jesus came and Heaven burst into song and God let the Shepherds experience Heaven for a moment. Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe gave His life upon the Cross for all mankind to be set free. However, his birth and death was even more dramatic than that SAS rescue. He was publically executed, with the crowds watching. Alongside at least two others that day Jesus public humiliation and death was a victory. Though the world at that time didn’t realise they’d just killed Immanuel: God with us.

However, we know that His death was not the end, because just three days later, Jesus, because He was always God, came back to life again. His mission was completed and His body is alive today in Heaven where He ascended over 2000 years ago. The next time anyone is going to see Jesus, apart from in visions and dreams, is when He returns in all the glory of Heaven.

YOUR IMMANUEL MOMENT

But before Jesus comes back, we’ve been given an opportunity to get to know Him. We can know Immanuel, God with us, personally right now. We can experience God and know God… Have you had your own Immanuel? Do you know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is with you?

Once you experience Immanuel for yourself, nothing will ever be able to take away that experience, it will transform you life forever. Because God becomes your Immanuel, Jesus promised this very thing for everyone who believes and trusts in Him.

John 14:23 (NIV) Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”

Once Jesus comes into your life, He comes in TRINITY: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Your own body becomes the TEMPLE of God, because wherever God is, that is His Temple. When He comes as promised, that is your Immanuel moment, but it lasts forever.

HERE IS HOW TO KNOW IF YOU’VE RECEIVED YOUR IMMANUEL:

You’ll know Him, if you LOVE Him.

You’ll know if you love Jesus Christ. When you hear his name, your heart skips a beat. It’s like He’s inside you witnessing within, that He’s here. Oh yes, you’ll know if you love Jesus.

Nobody needs to tell you when you are in love with another person, your heart, mind, will and strength are for that relationship. You’ll do whatever you can to be with your lover. When you are apart, you’ll always long to be together. I knew when I was in love with my soon to be wife Julie, because I was over 200 miles away, and all I longed for was the evenings when I could get to a telephone box (no mobile phones in those days), to call her at her house. We’d spend ages chatting about nothing on that phone, until my money ran out. When you are together, its like you are in the place that you’ve always belonged. All you want to do when you are in love is hold that person as close as possible, it’s like the two have become one. That’s real LOVE! That’s how you know you love Jesus, when you are ONE with Jesus.

You’ll know if He is your LORD:

When Jesus is your LORD, then you will be prepared to do whatever He tells you. It won’t be a burden to you to be obedient to Jesus, because you’ll be in love with serving Him. He’s your beloved King and you’d willing die in His service.

You’ll know if He is your Immanuel:

You’ll know if you’ve submitted your life to Him, because your desires will be changed and you’ll want to live in obedience to Jesus commands and teachings. That’s how you know if you’ve experienced Immanuel for yourself.

So HOW do we get our own IMMANUEL?

“Come, oh come Immanuel…” (The Christmas Carol).

Invite the LORD to come into your life right now.

Believe in the LORD Jesus Christ: It’s easy to say, “Oh yes, I believe in Jesus”, but that doesn’t mean that you are BELIEVING IN Jesus; i.e. trusting that He has died upon the cross for your sins and that you’ve received Him as your Lord and Saviour. In order to do that, you’ll first need to be CONVICTED by the Holy Spirit that you are indeed a guilty sinner.

Confess any known sin in your life. Confession means to own it, to acknowledge that it was you, that you are guilty of sin. It’s like a prisoner standing before a judge and he asks the person in the dock, “How do you plead?”, when you’re ready to confess your sins you’ll respond to the Judge of the Universe, “Guilty as charged your Honour”… If you are not convinced you are a sinner, then GOOGLE the Ten Commandment; you’ll soon see your guilty heart. They are like looking into a mirror, they reflect the condition of your heart. Those commandments of God, not suggestions, are still applicable today. God has not changed, His standards of Holiness will always be the same.

In our Baptism service, the candidate is asked, “Do you turn from sin?” and “Do you repent of your sins?” and “Do you renounce sin?” These questions reflect a willingness to let go of sins hold on your life. But please note, it doesn’t mean you have the ability in your own strength not to sin again, it’s just a willingness to let go of sin. You will get the POWER to say “No” to sin once you’ve received your Immanuel, God with you, He’ll come into your life in the power of the Holy Spirit and He’ll enable you to live righteously in holiness of life. Remember what Jesus promised the Holy Spirit will do;

John 16:8 (NIV) The Promise of Holy Spirit Conviction. “When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:…”

The Holy Spirit will show you your guilt, that you are a sinner, that you are not righteous enough and that one day the LORD is going to judge you.

How will you plead today?

If you died right now, and appeared before God, what would you say when He asks you, “How do you plead, have you ever sinned? Have you ever broken one of My Commandments?”

Like the rest of us, like every sinful soul on earth, you’d have to say, “Lord, You know all things, You know that I’ve sinned”… However, if you have received Jesus as Lord and Saviour, then all your sins will be washed away, you’ll be clean, your conscience will be clear and you’ll approach the Throne of Judgement with boldness, knowing that you are a forgiven sinner who’s been washed in the blood of God’s Holy Lamb. If you’ve believed, repented, renounced sin and received Jesus as Lord then you’ll already have been made into a Saint by Jesus Christ, the Bible calls that SANCTIFICATION (Being made into a saint, by trusting in Christ).

I’m writing all of this today, because I want every reader to know and experience their own Immanuel moment, that time when you purposefully turn from sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour.

So I’m Praying:

  • I’m praying that everyone I know and love will come to Jesus and experience Immanuel for themselves.
  • I’m praying that Holy Spirit will give them a soft heart to be open to God.
  • I’m praying that He will convict them of their sinful condition.
  • I’m praying that He will show them there is a judgement to come.
  • I’m praying that He will reveal to them, the way of Salvation.
  • I’m praying that He will show them the life of Holiness is a joy filled life.
  • I’m praying that He will give them a desire for freedom.
  • I’m praying that He will give them a hunger that this world cannot satisfy.

Father I’m praying all these prayers for those that You love and that I love in the Name of your Son, my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen!

And I am full of faith, expectancy and sure and certain HOPE that You will answer my prayer Father, because I’m believing Jesus’ promises.

John 16:24 (NIV) “Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.” Amen!

Have an awesome Tuesday my friends,

Join me in praying for all those who are grieving because of that plane crash in Brazil.

Stay close to Jesus and experience your own Immanuel,

Don.

18 Prayers to Pray For Unbelievers

LINK To Prayers

 

The Wonderful Names of Jesus

Advent week, Jesus, Christ, Messiah, Judge, Lord,

Daily Spirit & Word: 813: The Wonderful Names of Jesus.

Good morning my friends,

It’s amazing when we celebrate significant birthdays. We know of folks who prepare a long time in advance. Some in our church will travel thousands of miles to attend a significant birthday of a relative. They come back with wonderful stories and share their amazing pictures on Facebook.

Every year the whole Christian community celebrates the most significant birthday in history, the birth of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Advent is the season of getting ready to do that.

Our Four Advent Readings (From the Lectionary) think about the PARTY that was going on before God would act in Judgement:

  • Isaiah 2.1-5: The World’s Peoples Gathering in Jerusalem for God’s Judgement.
  • Psalm 122: The Thrones of Judgement in Jerusalem.
  • Romans 13.11-14: Put aside the deeds of darkness; drunkenness and wild parties… Put on armour of light.
  • Matthew 24.36-44: Partying and Marriage celebrations in the time of Noah.

I could have chosen any one of these Judgement passages to warn of the Judgement to come, but instead I want today to FOCUS like a laser on JESUS. And WHY ADVENT.

The one verse we used as we lit the Advent Candle:

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

The word Advent means arrival, (Parousia).

Advent refers to the arrival of Jesus Christ into the world.

The “Advent season” usually starts four weeks before Christmas and concludes with the celebration of Christ’s birth. Some churches emphasise the Advent season more than others, but all Christians look forward to celebrating Christ’s birth during this season of the year. We know it’s the season of Good-Will towards mankind. So this is the FIRST SUNDAY of ADVENT.

Why was Jesus’ birth so important? (Incarnation) God became Flesh.

We have a word for that, INCARNATION:

What Incarnation is not: It’s not about Jesus being steeped in Carnation Milk 🙂 But Jesus taking on human flesh.

The reason for Advent is because slightly over 2,000 years ago, God came down to Earth from Heaven and became a living human being: The Baby Jesus Christ. As God tells us in John, “The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14, NIV).

We have a word for that, INCARNATION:

Think about it for a moment: Incarnation, God became a man! He did it because He loves us, and that’s what we should celebrate as Christmas approaches.

This is the First Sunday of Advent: 

Read Isaiah 9:6. In this portion of the Bible we find the whole message and meaning of Christmas.

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

FIVE NAMES FOR OUR LORD JESUS:

You will notice that Isaiah the great Prophet gives us five awesome Names for our Lord that can encourage us, excite and enthuse us and fill us with the sure and certain hope of the Christmas reasons for Jesus coming into this world.

  1. Jesus is Wonderful.When He did so many wonderful miracles, the Scripture says, “The people wondered.” (Luke 11:14, KJV). The people were astonished by Jesus miracles, time and time again. Your Lord Jesus is Wonderful (Full of wonder; even today we can marvel at Jesus’ miracles; water into wine, walking on water, calming storms, spitting to make the blind see, these are just some of the WATER miracles. Show people Jesus today and they’ll be filled with WONDER, because Jesus is wonderful.
  1. Jesus is Counsellor. Jesus with the woman at the well, “Come and meet a man who told me everything I ever did”.

John 4:29 (NIV)  “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Christ?”

My friends, Jesus is your counsellor, He is your Advocate with the Father, He is your High Priest and King. He knows all about your life too and can meet all your needs today. That’s something to celebrate Christmas for isn’t it?

  1. Jesus is The Mighty God. He is the God-Man (God in Flesh). He said “I and the Father are ONE”. (John 10:30)

John 14:9 (NIV) Jesus answered: “Don’t you know me, Philip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Jesus is the Mighty God.

  1. Jesus is The Everlasting Father. It was by Him, the living Word, that all things were created. He is the designer of the whole universe. (Meditate upon John 1:1-5; Hebrews 11:3)

John 1:1-5 (NIV)
1  In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2  He was with God in the beginning.
3  Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.
4  In him was life, and that life was the light of men.
5  The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

Colossians 1:16-17 (NIV)
16  For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.
17  He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Jesus is the Everlasting Father: Eternal, always was, always will be. He and the Father are ONE.

  1. Jesus is The Prince of Peace.

Jesus can bring you God’s PEACE:

We all want world peace, but there will never be lasting peace on Earth until He comes again to reign in all His righteousness. That’s the Second Advent: But He is also the Prince of Peace in other ways. None can have peace with God apart from Him and the peace that He made through the blood of His cross. (Colossians 1:20)

Here’s is HOW Christ Brings us PEACE:

Colossians 1:19-22 (NIV) Alienated (Separated) Reconciled (Brought back together again).
19  For God was pleased to have all his fulness dwell in him,
20  and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.
21  Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behaviour.
22  But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—

It’s by knowing and believing, trusting and receiving Jesus Christ, as we turn from our sin, that we can KNOW God’s PEACE in this world today.

Do you have PEACE with God this Christmas? When we KNOW Jesus as; Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace… We can have PEACE with God.

Conclusion:

This, the first Sunday of Advent: and all through this coming week, think about and meditate upon these awesome names for the LORD Jesus Christ:

Isaiah 9:6 (NIV) “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

  • Monday: Wonderful. Wonder at Jesus and His miracles again.
  • Tuesday: Counsellor. Know Jesus knows all about your life and how best to show you the way.
  • Wednesday: Mighty God: Jesus is God in Flesh. He is mighty and can do anything. Sustains the Universe.
  • Thursday: Everlasting Father: Jesus and the Father are ONE…
  • Friday: Prince of Peace: Reflect upon the real PEACE that Jesus gives you in all situations.

The full meaning of these words from Isaiah should give us enough; strength, hope and joy to face any crisis, endure any sorrow and meet any temptation.

Question: How has Jesus shown you recently that He is “Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father or The Prince of Peace”?

It’s my hope and prayer as you get ready to celebrate Christmas again this year, the birth of our LORD Jesus Christ, you’ll experience Him in the fullness of His Wonderful Names. Amen!

Don.